Parallel & Distributed Computer Systems

Dr. Mohammad Ansari

Course Details

Delivery
◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ Lectures/discussions: English Assessments: English Ask questions in class if you don’t understand Email me after class if you do not want to ask in class ◦ DO NOT LEAVE QUESTIONS TILL THE DAY BEFORE THE EXAM!!!

Assessments (this may change)
◦ Homework (~1 per week): 10% ◦ Midterm: 20% ◦ 1 project + final exam OR 2 projects: 35%+35%

Course Details
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Textbook
◦ Principles of Parallel Programming, Lin & Snyder

Other sources of information:
◦ COMP 322, Rice University ◦ CS 194, UC Berkeley ◦ Cilk lectures, MIT

Many sources of information on the internet for writing parallelized code

Teaching Materials & Assignments

Everything is on Jusur
◦ Lectures ◦ Homeworks

Submit homework through Jusur  Homework is given out on Saturday  Homework due following Saturday  You lose 10% for each day late  No homework this week! 

Outline

This lecture:
◦ Why study parallel computing? ◦ Topics covered on this course

Next lecture:
◦ Discuss an example problem

Why study parallel computing?

First, WHAT is parallel computing?
◦ Using multiple processors (in parallel) to solve a problem faster than a single processor

Why is this important?
◦ Science/research is usually has two parts. Theory, and experimentation. ◦ Some experiments just take too long on a single processor (days, months, or even years) ◦ We do not want to wait for so long ◦ Need to execute experiments faster

Why study parallel computing

BUT, parallel computing very specialized
◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ Few computers in the world with many procs. Most software not (very) parallelized Typically parallel programming is hard Result: parallel computing taught at Masters level

Why study it during undergraduate?
◦ The entire computing industry has shifted to parallel computing. Intel, AMD, IBM, Sun, …

Why study parallel computing?

Today:
◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ All computers are multi-core, even laptops Mobile phones will also be multi-core Number of cores keeps going up Intel/AMD:  ~2004: 2 cores per processor  ~2006: 4 cores per processor  ~2009: 6 cores per processor

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If you want your software to use all those cores, you need to parallelize it. BUT, why did this happen?

Why did this happen?
We need to look at history of processor architectures  All processors made of transistors

◦ Moore’s Law: number of transistors per chip doubles every 18-24 months ◦ Fabrication process (manufacture of chips) improvements made transistors smaller ◦ Allows more transistors to be placed in the same space (transistor density increasing).

Transistor Counts
Intel 80286 2,000,000,000 Intel 80386 Intel 80486 200,000,000 Pentium AMD K5 Pentium II 20,000,000 Pentium III AMD Athlon Pentium 4 2,000,000 AMD Athlon 64 AMD Athlon X2

Cell
200,000 Core 2 Duo Core i7 (Quad) Six-Core Opteron 2400 20,000 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 2010 Six-Core Xeon 7400

Why did this happen?

What did engineers do with so many transistors?
◦ Added advanced hardware that made your code faster automatically  MMX, SSE, superscalar, out-of-order execution

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Smaller transistors change state faster
◦ Smaller transistors enables higher speeds

Old view:
◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ “Want more performance? Get new processor.” New processor more advanced, and higher speed. Makes your software run faster. No effort from programmer for this extra speed.  Don’t have to change the software.

Why did this happen?

But now, there are problems
◦ Engineers have run out of ideas for advanced hardware. ◦ Cannot use extra transistors to automatically improve performance of code

OK, but we can still increase the speed, right?

Why did this happen?

But now, there are problems
◦ Engineers have run out of ideas for advanced hardware. ◦ Cannot use extra transistors to automatically improve performance of code

OK, but we can still increase the speed, right? WRONG!

Why did this happen?

But now, there are problems
◦ Higher speed processors consume more power  Big problem for large servers: need their own power plant ◦ Higher speed processors generate more heat  Dissipating (removing) the heat is requiring more and more sophisticated equipment, heat sinks cannot do it anymore ◦ Result: not possible to keep increasing speed

Let’s look at some heat sinks

Intel 386 (25 MHz) Heatsink
The 386 had no heatsink!  It did not generate much heat  Because it has very slow speed

486 (~50Mhz) Heatsink

Pentium 2 Heatsink

Pentium 3 Heatsink

Pentium 4 Heatsink

Why study parallel computing?

Old view:
◦ “Want more performance? Get new processor.” ◦ New processor will have higher speed, more advanced. Makes your software run faster. ◦ No effort from programmer for this extra speed.

New view:
◦ Processors will not be more advanced ◦ Processors will not have higher speed ◦ Industry/academia: Use extra transistors for multiple processors (cores) on the same chip ◦ This is called a multi-core processor  E.g., Core 2 Duo, Core 2 Quad, Athlon X2, X4

Quotes
◦ “We are dedicating all of our future product development to multicore designs. … This is a sea change in computing”
 Paul Otellini, President, Intel (2005)

◦ Number of cores will ~double every 2 years

Why study parallel computing?

What are the benefits of multi-core?
◦ Continue to increase theoretical performance:  Quad-core processor, with each core at 2GHz is like 4x2GHz = 8GHz processor ◦ Decrease speed to reduce temperature, power  16-core at 0.5GHz = 16*0.5 = 8GHz  8GHz, but at lower temperature, lower power

Multi-core is attractive, because it removes existing problems  No limit (yet) to number of cores

Affects on Programming

Before:
◦ Write sequential (non-parallel) program. ◦ It becomes faster with newer processor  Higher speed, more advanced

Now:
◦ New processor has more cores, but each is slower ◦ Sequential programs will run slower on new proc  They can only use one core ◦ What will run faster?  Parallel program that can use all the cores!!!

Why study parallel computing?

You need knowledge of parallelism
◦ Future processors will have many cores ◦ Each core will become slower (speed) ◦ Your software will only achieve high performance if it is parallelized

Parallel programming is not easy
◦ Many factors affect performance ◦ Not easy to find source of bad performance ◦ Usually requires deeper understanding of processor architectures ◦ This is why there is a whole course for it

Course Topics

Foundations of parallel algorithms
◦ How do we make a parallel algorithm? ◦ How do we measure its performance?

Foundations of parallel programming
◦ Parallel processor architectures ◦ Threads/tasks, synchronization, performance ◦ What are the trade-offs, and overheads?

Experiment with real hardware
◦ 8-way distributed supercomputer ◦ 24-core shared memory supercomputer

If we have time:
◦ GPGPUs / CUDA

Skills You Need

Basic understanding of processor architectures
◦ Pipelines, registers, caches, memory

Programming in C and/or Java

Summary
Processor technology cannot continue as before. Changed to multi-cores.  Multi-cores require programs to be parallelized for high performance  This course will cover core theory and practice of parallel computing

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